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Domestic violence often leaves evidence of physical trauma, but yet another form of abuse can cut even deeper. If left unchecked, long-term emotional abuse can lead to feelings of diminished self-worth and loss of independence for the victimized spouse. By achieving these results, the abusive spouse exercises abnormal control.The cycle begins with a simple criticism and then builds. Often the abuser will break the cycle with what appears to be a sincere apology, but both partners soon find themselves caught up in the cycle of verbal abuse once again.

 emotional abuse IAMGEDenial can also be an underlying factor of years of abuse. If you can truthfully answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have already taken the first step in breaking the cycle of abuse. Be honest, take a few minutes on each question, write down your answers as they pertain to your situation, you may be surprised at your answers.

  • Does your spouse maintain total control of the family finances?
  • Does your spouse place you on an allowance?
  • Does your spouse restrict your access to bank accounts?
  • Does your spouse control all consumer purchases?
  • Does your spouse constantly belittle or criticise you?
  • Does your spouse isolate you from personal and professional relationships?
  • Does your spouse threaten you with bodily harm?

As dramatic as it may sound, the second step to removing yourself from the situation is to plan your “escape”. Following these guidelines could ensure your safety:

Spousal support, also referred to as alimony or spousal maintenance, refers to a person’s right to financial support from his or her spouse after a divorce. This support can exist in the form of money or assets. If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and considering spousal support, it’s important to be familiar with the different types of maintenance so you can determine what will best fit your situation.

spousal support, maintenance, alimony IMAGEIn some cases, the court may award permanent maintenance. This is sometimes awarded when the marriage was fairly lengthy or one spouse is unable to support themselves. Essentially, under this type of agreement, maintenance is received until one of the parties dies. However, the arrangement can still be altered and reviewed by the court for example, in the event that the recipient spouse gets remarried.

Another common type of maintenance is referred to as rehabilitative maintenance. Under these agreements, support is given to a spouse who needs time in order to establish financial independence. Rehabilitative maintenance typically includes a specified time frame and terminates when the recipient spouse is back on their feet. These agreements can also last for indefinite amounts of time and have periodic reviews. If it is determined that the recipient spouse is making the effort to establish financial independence maintenance can be terminated immediately. These agreements are common amongst marriages in which one spouse stayed home raising children and requires time to find a job or get training in order to return to the workforce.

Posted on in Mediation

In Illinois, mediation as a means of resolving issues is becoming more prominent as people seek to avoid the costs of litigation. Mediation can be an effective means of resolving disputes that divorcing couples experience concerning property division and child-related issues. An experienced attorney and certified mediator can often present solutions to your divorce concerns while avoiding the unnecessary a time-consuming nature of litigation.

  divorce mediation IMAGEMediation

The Alternative Dispute Resolution, or Uniform Mediation Act as it is more commonly known, defines “mediation” as a “means or process in which a mediator facilitates communication and negotiation between parties to assist them in reaching a voluntary agreement regarding their dispute.”  The Act, listed in the Illinois Compiled Statutes under 710 ILCS 35/1 and its proceeding sections, provides the groundwork a mediator will follow.

Posted on in Family Law

There have been some surprising findings about divorce throughout the last couple of years. One such thing was a Norwegian study that found that couples who share housework are more likely to divorce—a troubling finding in a world where women are only just beginning to play an equal role out of the home. A Swedish study found that there may actually be a gene in women that can predict divorce, as if some women are just predetermined to split, regardless of socioeconomic or family background. And just recently, a report first published by, and reported on by the Huffington Post, “couples whose individual weights fall between 101 and 200 pounds are more likely to file for divorce.”  Overweight People Less Likely to Divorce IMAGE

The study was conducted by examining 2,708 divorce cases. More than three-quarters of the divorces (76 percent) involved individuals who weighed between 100 and 200 pounds. “In contrast, approximately 18 percent of cases involved couples in which a partner weighed between 201 to 250 pounds, and 5 percent involved couples in which a partner weighed more than 250 pounds.” The fact that overweight couples may file less for divorce wasn’t included, meaning that the study is not an indicator that overweight couples are more prone to marital happiness—it could only mean that they’re less likely to split in the event of it. It’s also important to note, states the Huffington Post that, “height was not included in the data analysis, and therefore some of the individuals in the 101 to 200 pound range may actually be considered overweight as well.”

According to an article published earlier this year in New York magazine and later speculated upon by the Huffington Post, weight gain may not just be a reason to stay in a marriage, but a reason that a person gets served divorce papers. The Huffington Post asks “Is divorcing your spouse because he or she put on some extra pounds going too far?” For many readers, the answer was no.

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